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Faraday Future loses its battery designer at a bad time

The mysterious potential Tesla competitor is less than a week away from unveiling its first concept at CES 2016.

This story is part of CES 2016. Our editors bring you complete CES 2016 coverage and scour the showroom floor for the hottest new tech gadgets around.
Faraday Future

Faraday Future's forthcoming concept is shrouded in mystery, with teasers only revealing silhouettes and detail shots.

YouTube screengrab, Andrew Krok/CNET

Startup Faraday Future hopped onto the electric-vehicle scene with a straightforward mission -- beat Tesla Motors at its own game. With the backing of a Chinese billionaire and a growing Web presence, the company is set to unveil its first concept at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. But the concept launch could be disrupted by the departure of a vital employee.

Porter Harris, Faraday Future's chief battery designer, left the company after 15 months of employment. Bloomberg reports that Harris lists his current employer as Lotus Research and Development LLC. Prior to Faraday Future, Harris worked for Elon Musk's SpaceX.

This could have serious ramifications for Faraday. Its first concept is set to debut at CES, and it's already working to build a manufacturing facility in Nevada. The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

Mysteries have surrounded Faraday Future since it announced its plan to build electric cars in the United States. Nobody knew who was funding the company at first -- and at time of writing, the CEO's name is still unknown. Maybe we'll get a chance to see the man or woman behind the curtain at CES.